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Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings

As we end the first half of Term 3, our senior students have been focused and working hard towards achieving their academic goals. At school our staff are having constant conversations with our students based on their predicted grades from staff. It would be great support for our students if these conversations can be continued at home.

It has been a busy fortnight out of the classroom as well, with our students succeeding across many fields, both nationally and internationally.

Last week we had two teams representing St Thomas’ at the World Scholars Cup in Sydney. These students gained qualification through excelling at the regional championships here in Christchurch. We are still awaiting confirmation of results but due to the large number of gold medals presented, we are hopeful that our students have qualified for the world finals at Yale University in Connecticut, U.S.A. It is fantastic to see our students excelling on an academic platform internationally. Well done to the students involved; Jackson Bunting, Alex McCorkindale, Campbell Buck, Oliver Wong, Eli Muir, and Joseph Costas.

On Monday night, our junior band consisting of Blake English, Ben Hodgson, and Keanu Knapp competed in the Junior Band quest. The boys performed very well finishing in 2nd place, with Blake English awarded the best vocalist. This is great reward for a lot of hard work by the students and Mr Ben Crosson. Well done.

On Tuesday we hosted St Kevin’s from Oamaru for our annual sports exchange. It was a very successful day with St Thomas’ winning the exchange and retaining the AIREY 1st XV trophy which dates back to 1961. Well done to all involved.

The highlight of week was undoubtedly the 1st XI Football final on Wednesday against Cashmere High School. A very large St Thomas’ support crew were in good voice to support our 1st XI in a very tight tussle, in which our team were able to come out on top after being behind for most of the battle. Our students talk a lot about Manawa as a key sporting value – it was on display on Wednesday as our students and supporters never gave up hope and witnessed an outstanding game of football. Congratulations to coaches and players on this outstanding result. We wish them the best of luck as they now focus on the National Tournament in Napier in a weeks time.

On Tuesday our Year 12 students participated in a whole day workshop on driver safety. The road fatality statistics in New Zealand are very poor and, unfortunately, young male drivers are over represented in these statistics. It was great to see our students gain further education in road safety.

As we move into the second half of the term, our students will undoubtedly feel increasing levels of pressure as they work towards achieving their academic goals. If you notice your son being affected in a negative way with academic expectations, please inform your son’s mentor teacher. We have many avenues to support our young people, and their wellbeing is of the utmost importance to our staff. As a group we are constantly communicating and watchful of your sons as we walk together on their academic journey. There are many paths that our students can take to arrive at the same endpoint. The key to ensuring our students fulfill their potential is in high level communication and collaboration between the student, family and school.